The University of Northern Iowa men's and women's track & field teams will travel to Emporia, Kan., on April 7 to continue the 2012 outdoor season. The Panthers will compete at the ESU Relays hosted by Emporia State University for their third outdoor meet of the year.
OUT OF THE BLOCKS
The League's Best
The UNI men own the top mark in the MVC in three of the four throwing events. Senior Justin Romero leads in the shot put, junior Jordan Williams leads in the discus, and sophomore Adam McDonnell leads the league in the javelin. School record-holder Tanner Hurt ranks No. 5 in the MVC in the hammer throw.
UNI is the only MVC school that has at least one athlete listed in the regional Top-48 for each of the four men's throwing events. The top 48 performers in each region will advance to the NCAA Preliminary Rounds at the end of May.
Romero Breaks Record, Takes Athlete of the Week
Following a record-breaking performance at the Central College Invitational on Mar. 31, senior thrower Justin Romero was named the Missouri Valley Conference Field Athlete of the Week.
Romero destroyed the 34-year-old UNI school record in the shot put, winning the meet title. Romero threw 60-01 (18.31m) to break the previous school record by 1 foot, 7 inches. Romero now leads the Missouri Valley Conference and is ranked No. 10 in the nation in the shot put this season. No MVC athlete has thrown further in the last five years.
Re-Writing the Record Books
The Panther women have seen school records fall in eight different events over the past 15 months, and a total of 22 performances rank from this season alone rank in the school's all-time top-five.
Two Titles, One School Record for Nowak
Olimpia Nowak opened her outdoor season by sweeping the titles in the women's 100m hurdles and 400m hurdles at the Central College Invitational (3/31). Nowak set a new school-record time of 13.66 seconds in the 100m hurdles - an improvement on her previous personal-best of 13.68 seconds. She also took the 400m hurdles crown in 1:00.79.
Freshman Paige Knodle was second to Nowak in both hurdle events at the Central Invitational, running 13.93 seconds in the 100m hurdles and 1:01.78 in the 400m hurdles. Knodle now ranks No. 4 in the 100m hurdles and No. 5 in the 400m hurdles on the UNI all-time performance list. She also won the javelin on Mar. 31 with a throw of 125-08 (38.30m) that ranks No. 5 in the MVC this season.
Junior Kelsey Sukovaty put herself in some good company with her shot put performance at the Central College Invitational on Mar. 31. Sukovaty claimed the women's shot put championship with a huge toss of 49-02.50 (15.00m). She now trails only former UNI All-American Rachel Jansen on the school's all-time leaderboard in the event.
Senior Jill Lageschulte won the 3,000m steeplechase at the Central College Invitational (3/31) in 11:05.88 - good enough for the second-fastest time in UNI history just two weeks after she set the school record in the event. Lageschulte has run the 3,000m steeplechase twice this year and emerged with a first-place finish both times.
The UNI men's track & field team debuted at No. 12 in the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Midwest regional rankings on April 3.